Aloe Vera!

August 22, 2016

Aloe, oh aloe!  I’d read about aloe.  I’d watched some videos about using aloe.  I figured I was ready to try it.  My mom has had this HUGE aloe plant for I don’t know how many years and I’ve always said I was going to make some soap and use some of that aloe in it.  I don’t know how many years I’ve been saying that, but I finally did it.

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Quite the aloe plant isn’t it?

Took some aloe, sliced it up, and then pureed it.  No matter how much I pureed I still had some small bits of the skin.  No one had ever said anything about the skin and so I figured it would be ok.  Well after I made the soap and cut it I was no longer sure that it would be okay.  Those tiny flecks grew in the soap and I didn’t trust that.  I had a feeling that they would be cause for concern. The last thing I wanted was moldy soap!

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Can I make a random comment? Aloe has a very distinct smell when cut and I can’t say I like it very much!

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No amount of blending completely pureed it. Might be I need a different (better) blender.

Thank goodness for FB Soap Groups.  After posting my soap and the process I got a lot of feedback on how to make aloe soap and that this batch probably was probably going to be a lost.

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Here’s a small piece of the soap. You can see the small specs of aloe practically tripled in size.

I’ve been watching the soap as it cures and the green spots have slowly kind of morphed to a brown color.  I’ll keep watching it and probably test out a bar using it and seeing how the water affects it over time.

Second batch I took my new found knowledge (advice) and didn’t use the leaf, but just scoped out the aloe and blended that with a little bit of water.  This soap is void of the troubling green specs and I’m excited to try it.

Look at this yummy, messy process😉

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Sliced off the top of the leaf and scoped out the aloe center. Quite a messy process.

 

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Then I blended the aloe with some water. Lovely looking! Not a green spec insight! Now to make some soap with it!

No green specs.  No worries this batch.  I’m excited to use this soap. Not sure if I’ll notice a difference between it and my normal soap, but I’ll know it’s got all the aloe-y goodness in it.

As a side note:  You may laugh at me; it’s okay.  I never knew that I could just cut the leaf/stem off the aloe and leave it be (the plant that is) and it would “heal” itself. I felt so bad looking at the oozing stem where I’d cut it, but I needed my aloe!  Well a few days later I went back to look at the plant and it had closed itself right up! Haha. I know; I’m silly.  I found that quite fascinating to see.  And now I don’t fee so bad about cutting pieces from the aloe plant.


Avocado!

August 15, 2016

Avocado soap has been on my “to make” list for over a year now. I meant to make some last summer and time just ran out…which tends to happen on a regular basis for me.  That’s the one down side of your hobby being a full time business (with no one to do the work but you): you (as in I) have little time for experimenting.  Most of the time I’m just keeping up with making what I’m selling and there’s not a whole lot of extra time to play around.

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I was in the store and walked by the avocados and they were having a special on them and I stopped and picked up a couple.  I figured if I HAD the avocados I’d have to make time to make the soap because I wouldn’t waste the avocados.

I’ve never cut an avocado before. That was interesting experience.  My friend told me the best way, which is not how I’d probably have gone about it ha, but her way was definitely less messy and worked like a charm.

I pureed the avocados and then went about making soap as normal.  I discounted some of my water to account for the avocado.  The soap behaved nicely and the end product looks good.  Can’t wait to test the soap in a week or two once it’s finished curing.  I’m sure the avocados added some yummy goodness to the soap, but I don’t expect it to affect the lather or anything else.

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Will I make soap with avocado and sell it in the future…not sure.  Avocados add an extra expense to the soap, but it was fun to finally play around with some avocado in my soap.

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I put salt on the top of the bar and separating the layers…hence the slight discoloration between the layers and the salt sweats a little in this heat.


Dancing Funnel Technique: Challenge

August 12, 2016

This month’s challenged fascinated me and I knew I’d have a bit of time to actually attempt some soaps with it so I signed up.  The design is cool, my attempts—not so much.

Attempt 1: WAY to liquidy-runny

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They said you needed a really light trace…and that the soap shouldn’t be thick. I did super thin trace and well that was a disaster.  I ended up halfway through stopping the batch I was making going back to my liquids and stick blending them to thicken them up some and then starting a new loaf.  Still wasn’t thick enough and you can see how fluid this batch looks as everything just kind of ran into everything.

Attempt 1a: Left over soap…

2016-08-06 16.38.32I had some left over soap from some embeds I was making for a custom order so I decided to practice the technique some more.  Soap was still to runny though to make the technique work properly.

Attempt 2: *shakes my head* (That is all I can say…)

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I didn’t have any clean skirt bottles so I thought I’d use piping bags…You should have seen the mess I made…hence the head shaking.  This soap was better than the first but still didn’t turn out great.  First off the black got a little too thick and the white was still too runny.  It was not a fun combo to work with.

Attempt 3: Too thick

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After the previous failed attempts at a really like trace soap I finally tried a batch at a medium trace.  That ended up being too thick.  I just couldn’t win.  And oh my the glycerin rivers on this soap!  All I did was wrap it in a blanket to insulate this one and I got this craziness. I swear the fragrance had to affect it somehow because I’ve never quite seen rivers like this, though I do wonder if it could be the TD (different supplier than I normally use).

In the end I really wasn’t happy with any of the soaps.  This method is super time consuming and doesn’t work for my loaf soaps, so it’s not one I’m likely to do again, but I gave it a go!


Cocktails by the Pool

July 22, 2016

Oh my word! This soap was a PAIN to make.  But you all know me.  Once I get an idea in my head I pretty much can’t let it go until I try it.

Cocktails by the Pool: Top Notes: Sparkling Lemon, Honeydew, Pear. Middle Notes: Vibrant Orange, Pineapple, Nectarine. Base Notes: Lily of the Valley, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Vanilla.

Here’s the pretty soap!

cocktailsbypool

cocktails

Available on my webpage!

Here’s all the behind the scenes it took to make this soap!  It’s safe to say that this is a one time design and you’ll likely never see it again (but then again now that the mold is made…)

First, I had to make a silicon mat imprint of the sea creatures/shells.  This was not an easy process and what I ended up with was far from perfect.

I made MP piece of the shapes.
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Then I had to get them to stay attached to the bottom of freezer paper so I could pour a flexible silicon over them to create a reversed mat imprint.

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As you can see some of the silicon seeped under the MP piece (even though I did tape them down).  They were a pain to get out (and that’s putting it nicely).

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When it was all said and done I had an imprint mat, but it wasn’t clean or perfect.

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Second, I then had to pour CP soap into the mold.  Once that harden up I made a new batch of soap the next day and made my loaf (in this case a tiger swirl).

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Then I also make MP pieces to place on top of the mold so I’d have sea shapes on the top and bottom.

embeds

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Here’s the soap once I unmolded.  Imprints on both the top and the bottom.  The CP imprints aren’t perfect, but overall I think it’s cute enough.

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Way too much work!  That’s all I can say about this soap!


Jamaica Me Crazy

July 13, 2016

This too was a happy accident!  I found the palm tree when I found the shells and it turned this two color (gradient) soap into something so much more!

Jamaica Me Crazy: begins with top notes of mandarin, Mexican lime, tangerine, and kumquat;  middle and base notes of watermelon, tart green apples, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon.

jamaicamecrazy

Available on my webpage!


Weekend in Maui

June 28, 2016

I couldn’t find the right size stamps I wanted for this soap. I had this really cool idea that just never happened.   This soap is pretty…but it just lacks a wow factor for me.

Weekend in Maui: Top Notes: Valencia Orange, Italian Mandarin, Cassis, Anjou Pear. Middle Notes: Star Jasmine, Plum Blossoms, Vanilla Orchid. Base Notes: Sandalwood, Golden Amber, Musk, Palm Woods

maui2

 

Available on my webpage!


Sweet Orange & Chili Pepper

June 21, 2016

This soap didn’t turn out how I expected (wanted).  When I read about the fragrance it said it accelerated trace slightly so I thought it’d be a great one to do layers on.  Well let me tell you…there was NO trace acceleration whatsoever for me! (Why you should always test fragrances yourself for how they react…I know this!)  Anyway my patience lost out on this soap and I did not get straight layers like I wanted.

Sweet Orange Chili Pepper: is the sassy, saucy combination of Valencia Orange, Sparkling Bergamot, Tangerine Zest, Tart Cassis, Orange Juice, Neroli, Ground Pepper, Fiery Chili Pepper, and Sheer Musk.

chilipepper

Available on my webpage!

My photography skills are okay at best.  My photoshop skills on the other hand are pretty good.  I’ve lots to learn that’s for sure, but I’ve learned a lot of tips and tricks for editing photos.  Take a look at this “before” (what I got on my camera) and “after” (what I photoshopped).

Before After Photo

I couldn’t get the blue to go away on my camera and since the soap colors where coming out true to the soap I decided not to mess with the background and just photoshop it, since it’s easier to fix that that to get the soap colors to be true to reality.

 


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